Journalist among nine held for terrorist links
Police have arrested nine people, one of them said to be a
journalist with an English daily here, for alleged links with
terrorist outfits, police sources said.
Residents of Jayachamarajendra Nagar in north Bangalore from where
five of the nine were arrested
families of 11 terror suspects apprehended in Karnataka Friday
expressed shock and disbelief over their arrests on charges of
links with banned terror outfits Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and
Harkat-ul-Jihad-e-Islam (Huji) and plotting terror attacks in the
"We are at a loss to understand why my third son, Zafar Iqbal, was
whisked away from our house at Hubli without intimation or warrant
though he is innocent and has no link with any terror outfit,"
Sheikh Rafiq Ahmed told reporters here.
Of the 11 accused, six from Bangalore are Shoaib Ahmed Mirza (25),
Abdullah alias Abdul Hakim Jamdar (25), Izaz Mohammed Mirza (25),
Mohammed Yosuf Nalaband (28), Riyaz Ahmed Byahatti (28) and
Muthi-ur-Rehman Siddiqui (26).
The remaining five from Hubli, 430 km from here, are Obedullah
Imran Bahaddur (24), Mohammed Sadik Lashkar (28), Waheed Hussein
(26), Mehboob Bagalokote (26) and Iqbal.
The suspects have been charged under the Unlawful Activities
(Prevention) Act, 1963, and various sections of the Indian Penal
Code (IPC) and the Arms Act.
All the accused were sent to 14 days police custody for further
investigations, after they were produced before a local court late
The arrests were made by the Karnataka Police for allegedly
plotting to assassinate leading state politicians, journalists and
a media baron in collusion with their handlers in Saudi Arabia.
Refuting the charges levelled by police, Sakina Bee, mother of
Jamdar, wailed that her son was the only bread winner in the
family and a devout Muslim who came up the hard way in life.
"I learnt about the arrest of my son in Hubli from his friends
Thursday, as I live at Bagalkote (490 km from Bangalore) and had
not met him after the Eid recently (Aug 19). He last spoke to me
Monday (Aug 27). As his mother, I can boldly assert that he is
innocent and has no connection with anyone, least of all
organisations like police have mentioned," Bee lamented.
Echoing Bee, A.M. Mirza, father of Izaz and Shoaib, said the
family was shocked over the arrest of his two sons in Bangalore on
charges that were "unbelievable".
"My elder son (Izaz) studied engineering and joined DRDO (Defence
Research and Development Organisation) in Bangalore as a junior
scientist early this year (January) and younger son (Shoaib) is
studying in MCA (masters in computer applications).
"Both the brothers are studious and hard working. They never gave
us an impression being associated or involved in any unlawful
activities. We are devastated by their sudden arrest without
warrant or court order," Mirza, a railway employee at Hubli,
Similarly, Hubli-based Attawur Rehman was bitter over the arrest
of his elder brother Siddiqui, a journalist with a Bangalore-based
English daily, and sought the help of media, civil society and
social organisations in getting him freed at the earliest.
"After the death of our parents five-six years ago, Muthi-ur
Rehman came to Bangalore to do post-graduate diploma in journalism
and joined the English daily (Deccan Herald) as a reporter. We
just can't believe that he could be involved in such activities as
he lives simply and works hard to make both ends meet," Rehman
The families also accused police of not informing them about their
wards and on what grounds they were arrested.
"We have sent telegrams to governor (H.R. Bhardwaj), chief
minister (Jagadish Shettar), deputy chief minister (R. Ashoka, who
holds the home portfolio) and Karnataka High Court Chief Justice
Vikramjit Sen on the illegal arrest of our youth and their
immediate release as they are innocent and not involved in any
anti-national activity," All India Human Rights Organisation
convener Irshad Ahmed said.
The families were consulting lawyers and Islamic organisations to
file a habeas corpus plea in the high court.